Editorial: A long homecoming for Suquamish Tribe

"For the Suquamish Tribe, it's the beginning of a long-awaited homecoming.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held recently for the Suquamish Community House, restoring to the tribe a traditional Salish community gathering house. It will be the Suquamish Tribe's first ceremonial home since 1870, when the Army burned down Old Man House, a 600-foot-long structure where Chief Seattle lived until his death in 1866.

"All of our old ancestors are looking down on us with pride that we're rebuilding Old Man House," said Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman.

Built in the style of a longhouse, the 12,000-square-foot structure will include carved houseposts and a 6,500-square-foot open area with a wooden floor designed specifically for traditional dances and ceremonies, plus permanent bench seating for more than 600. Table seating for 350 also is available, and the facility may be used for weddings and funerals. Also included are a commercial kitchen, and large double doors will open onto an outdoor celebration lawn area overlooking the bay.

"The tribe is reclaiming its right to live and celebrate in the traditions of its ancestors," said Michael Felts, CEO of the Suquamish Foundation."

Get the Story:
EDITORIAL: Suquamish Tribe Renewing Culture and Community (The Kitsap Sun 3/23)